At intervals, for a period of two years, we have called public attention to the method of watering streets with saline solutions, now practiced in parts of London, in Liverpool, and other cities of England, with the most satisfactory results, Our efforts to force the advantages secured by this method upon public attention, have been seconded, so far as we are aware, by no other paper in this country. We have, however, this season been helped by a strong naturally — the drought. The scarcity of Croton water, which, but for the timely October storms, would have placed the city in danger, has aroused the authorities to the fact that “ something must be done." It is now proposed by the engineer of the Metropolitan Board of Health, to water the streets of New York with sea water, the water to be raised by pumping. While there are certainly no insuperable engineering difficulties to be surmounted in carrying out this project, the expense it will entail upon the city will prove a serious obstacle to its adoption ; and after ali, though approximating perhaps in effect to the method above alluded to and which we have recommended, we do not believe it could ever be so economical or effectual. We have not room to give this week, an abstract of the important report in which the plan under consideration is recommended to the board. Would it not be wise for the Board of Health to try the English plan in some section of our most dusty thoroughfares—an experiment which could be made thoroughly at an expense of less than two thousand dollars for an entire season—before deciding to favor the report of their engineer ? The entire concurrence of the English press in the econemy, comfort, and sanitary effect of their method, warrants a trial of it in American cities, and the sound scientific principles upon which it is based should also claim for it attention from the able men who compose the Metropolitan Board of Health. © 1869 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, INC.
This article was originally published with the title "The Watering of the Streets of New York with Sea Water"